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Is Building Sites Based on Trends a Wise Decision?

fifa world cupThis month, one of the biggest attention-drawing events is 2010 FIFA World Cup, the largest event in International football (soccer.) I notice that site builders and webpreneurs are building World Cup-related sites, following the hot trend. Is this a wise decision? My short answer is: no. Find out why.

If you are a football (soccer) fan and a webpreneur, you’ll notice that FIFA official website is experiencing a burst of incoming traffic. This is obvious, because soccer fans all over the world are looking for news and updates surrounding the World Cup.

The visitor pattern also applies to our own sites. Many budding webpreneurs think, “This is a huge event – I’m gonna build a site related to World Cup and start making some money!”

As you can see in webmasters forums and website flipping marketplaces, there are a handful of World Cup-related (or at least, soccer-related) sites listed for sale – those webpreneurs are smart to build the sites months before the World Cup begin to prepare for the burst of traffic.

Guess what, I bet that after the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s Closing Ceremony, you and I will soon see plenty of World Cup-related sites on sale, some with healthy revenue.

The above are some of the most common strategies implemented by webpreneurs and site builders. Here are what they do:

  1. Build a site on the hottest upcoming issues or events, such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup;
  2. Grow the site aggressively, riding on people’s growing interest on the issues or events;
  3. Make some money out of the sites, via get-quick-cash methods, like text link ads or via CPC ads, such as Google AdSense;
  4. Bail out, flip the sites – list the site for sale while it’s hot or right after the “hotness” of the issues and events start to decline;
  5. Rinse and repeat.

Done the above right, you can really make a lot of money out of this trend-riding site flipping. This worked with swine flu-related sites; this worked with Twitter or Facebook-related sites; this worked with Pres. Obama’s election and inauguration-related sites; so it’s probably safe to say that this will work with other global hot trends coming up in the near future.

So, is trend-riding a wise decision to make?

So, here’s an important question I’m going to ask you: Is building sites using the above strategy a wise decision? I don’t know how about you, but for me, the answer is no.

I see the strategy above from ethical point of view – is it ethical to do that?

Are you building a soccer site using the World Cup as momentum to leverage your site’s growth or using the World Cup as a way to “trick” potential site buyers that your site is lucrative and full of potential? If the former, I’m with you; if the latter, I’m against you.

Alas, from my own experience, many would do the latter than the former. The main aim – either blatant or hidden – is to get easy money fast, in expense to newbie’s poor awareness of how site traffic works. In the eyes of newbies, those World Cup sites are as hot as hell, thinking that they will at least get the same figures in the future when they take over the sites.

Unfortunately, most likely, that is not the case. As the interest on World Cup dwindles, the sites’ traffic will just follow the trend.

Eventually, all is coming back to you. Do you want to do unethical webpreneurial practices or the otherwise? As of for me, I’d rather to build a soccer site using the World Cup event to get my site to be better-known, then carry on building the site ’till the time to let it go comes.

An idea for you who value ethical webpreneurial practices – build a niche news site and ride the wave of trends after trends after trends – then you’ll see your site’s traffic boom, and hopefully, your site’s revenue will follow the boom.

Any thoughts to share? Please do so by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Ethical trend rider


Ivan Widjaya is a webpreneur and an owner of a site network. He actively runs Noobpreneur.com, a small business tips blog, and CBRdigital.com, a cloud business blog .

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